Mapping the Torch: 2010 Domestic Relay Biggest Ever

That iconic Olympic image, the flame, has travelled all across the Earth to build passion for an approaching Games. Yet it has never been on the move longer inside one country than it will starting October 30, 2009. Covering 45,000 kilometres over 106 days, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay is set to be history’s longest domestic torch relay.

First the 2010 flame will be lit in Olympia, Greece, amid the ruins of the Temple of Hera. Sidestepping typical rules of air travel, the torch will be flown to Canada still aflame. It will begin its Canadian trek in Victoria right where the Trans-Canada Highway begins. It will end at B.C. Place Stadium at the Opening Ceremony on February 12.

In between, the Olympic torch will visit more than 1,000 communities, another 115 aboriginal communities as well as 14 Canadian Forces bases/stations. About 12,000 people will run with it. Here only a handful of notable stops along the way:

• Goose Bay Canadian Forces Bases, Nfld: On Remembrance Day
• Montreal: Site of 1976 Olympic Games
• Calgary: Site of 1988 Olympic Winter Games
• Alert, Nunavut: World’s northernmost inhabited community
• Cape Spear, Nfld: Most eastern point in North America
• Cavendish, PEI: Anne of Green Gables house
• Craigellachie, B.C.: Last Spike of Canadian Pacific Railway
• Point Pelee, Ont.: Southern tip of Canada
• Old Crow, Yukon: Western edge of Canada
• Kootenay Pass, B.C.: Highest point of relay at 5,807 feet

This will be Canada’s third torch relay. It will stretch greater distances than double the combined distances of Montreal and Calgary. It is also more than double the distance of the 2002 Salt Lake City relay.